Thursday, January 10, 2013

Treadmill vs. Pavement

Recently, I’ve been forced to take my outdoor running onto a treadmill because of snow, ice, rain and freezing temperatures. It’s not my favorite thing to do, but it gets the job done. However, I know of many people who prefer the treadmill to running or walking on pavement. So whether you are forced to run or walk on a machine or it’s your preference, here are a few things to consider.

  • Running or walking on a treadmill will seem easier than doing the same activity outdoors because the belt is being pulled underneath you instead of your legs having to propel you forward.
  • There is no wind resistance on a treadmill. Therefore, in order to get the same intensity of workout indoors as outdoors, you should always walk/run on a treadmill at a 1% incline to make up for the lack of wind resistance.
  • Running or walking outdoors provides you with somewhat uneven terrain which can increase your ability to balance.
  • A treadmill provides a padded belt which is helpful for people with joint problems to have a softer impact than cement.
  • If you are training for an outdoor race, it is better to train outdoors so that you become accustomed to the wind, terrain differences as well as inclines and declines.
  • Psychologically, it might be easier to run outdoors because you are going somewhere and a treadmill can become monotonous.
  • The calorie burn in both options are approximately the same when you set the treadmill to a 1% incline.
  • The treadmill is a great option for training when the weather is not great outside.
  • If you are concerned with the pace that you keep and tend to slow down instead of keeping a steady pace, the treadmill might be your best bet because it keeps the pace for you.
  • Doing interval training on a treadmill is a great way to get faster and scorch calories because you force yourself to run at faster speeds (or you fall off the machine). Click here for the calorie-speed gaining workout I did this morning.
  • The great outdoors provides different inclines and declines without you having to mess with “settings”
Really, what it boils down to is your preference. Just get moving!

Looking for a way to challenge your body on a treadmill? Click here for a fantastic interval workout.

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